Thursday, September 11, 2008

Marrenon Côtes du Ventoux Orca IV 2005

Côtes du Ventoux is a large region in the southern Rhone, just to the east of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, though without the lofty reputation (or prices) of that famous region. The main grape in this blend is said to be Grenache with a splash of Syrah (Shiraz). This wine is very French in style and was initially underwhelming - mineral with little fruit and a slightly harsh undertone. But after an hour it opened up nicely. The mineral structure was complemented with some interesting cedar / mint on the nose and a bit of licorice on the palate. But then I have to say it fizzled out a bit -- or maybe it was me fizzling out.

The changing character makes it difficult to judge - at its best I thought it was worth an 89, but it didn't seem to stay that way for long. In any event, if you're a new world afficiando, you won't like this, but if the old world appeals to you, this wine is definitely worth trying - but do give it some air before you make a judgment. At this price point you would normally expect to pop and pour, but in this case that would be a mistake.

Here are Kelly's notes: "Nose of anise, cedar, tar, raspberries follows through on palate. Initially, there was a persistent bitter undertaste on the palate, but it smoothed out after ½ hour or so. This wine developed very well in hour after opening. Very firm tannins. European in style. Score: 86"

Day 2: I've just had the rest of this wine, and it did very well overnight in the half bottle. Not a "wow" wine, but "hey, that's got some good stuff happening." And I love the style. I did have it at 87 and 3.5/5, but I'm going to bump it up a notch.

Price: $20.49
Value: 4/5
Score: 88
Alcohol: 14%
Tasted: Sept 2008
ANBL UPC: 3256811113133

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